What can we learn from Australia’s wealthiest individuals?

  1. Property is still the number one source of wealth

While the industrialists’ and mining billionaire’s fortunes wax and wane, looking back over the years no matter how the Australian economy changes, the Rich 200 has always been dominated by property entrepreneurs.

This year 50 of the Rich Listers made the majority of their fortune in property, while many of those who made their money in other sectors stored it in real estate.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with seeing what other successful people do and applying those principles to your own life.

If so many extraordinarily wealthy people have used real estate profitably, it stands to reason that there’s money to be made in this sector.

  1. Anyone can become rich in Australia.

While many people inherit their wealth, most on the Rich List were self made successes, some coming from working class backgrounds and having no tertiary qualifications.

Harry Triguboff is the Chinese born son of Russian immigrants, studied and started working in the textile industry and got involved in his first property deal in his late 20’s.

Other rich listers also proved that attending a private school or having an elite education is not a prerequisite to joining Australia’s wealthy.

  1. The markets move in cycles.

The stock market is flat, the mining boom has ended and many of the mining magnates are worth much less than they were a year or two ago.

Gina Rinehart, who had occupied the number one slot since 2010, has slipped to 4th place with her wealth falling from $14.02 billion to $6.06 billion last year, due to a combination of falling commodity prices and a legal battle that saw her daughter Bianca, the report said.

However successful business people and investors think long term, taking advantage of the opportunities to buy assets when they were on special. So it will be interesting to see the results next year and how these counter cyclical investors fair.

Remember Warren Buffet’s famous quote: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”

  1. The Rich work hard for their money.

You’ll find plenty of people on the list who are still working hard and making money at an age when most Australians are looking forward to retirement.

You see…it takes time to become uber wealthy – unless you’re left a handsome inheritance.

Harry Triguboff has been in every BRW Rich list since its inception 33 years ago, slowly working his way up to the top. Like all those on the Rich List, Harry still works hard at the age of 83, because he’s passionate about his work and isn’t interested in stopping.

In fact, he recently rejected an offer of over $6 billion for his empire, explaining he wouldn’t know what to do with himself or with the money.

  1. Take risks early on, but not once you are established.

While many rich listers took big risks to get their enterprises going, these successful business people then preserved their wealth by cautiously investing rather than taking further risks. This leads to the next insight…

  1. They make their millions and then reinvest rather than spend their money.

This is really just using the power of compounding to grow your asset base before you start spending up big.

  1. Have one good idea and repeat it.

One core trait that successful entrepreneurs share is the ability to take a good idea and repeat it over and over again.

You become an expert by doing one thing one hundred times, rather than doing one hundred things once.

Look through the Rich List and you’ll see so many entrepreneurs stick to the same concept for years and just expand in different locations – particularly overseas into Asia.

  1. Go for growth.

Sure, cash flow is important but to become really rich you need a large asset base. While the average Australian tries to increase their cash flow, the wealthy are obsessed with building their asset base.

Much the same as those on the BRW Rich 200 list who concentrate on building their balance sheets even more than they do on their profit and loss accounts.

  1. Surround yourself with a good team.

Triguboff has had a reputation for being ruthlessness, but is also known for saying that he is paying good money to his team, so he should listen to them otherwise he is stupid.

  1. Take action.

All the people who made it onto this year’s BRW Rich 200 list started with a dream They had a vison – created a plan to achieve it and then took action.

  1. You’re never too young and you’re never too old.

Tim Gurner is this year’s youngest Rich List debutant, aged only 34 and with a $460 million fortune made in property and another property, Stan Perron aged 93, is the oldest member of the list.

What does the Budget mean for economic growth in 2016-17?

budget_2015-16The Budget was neither hot nor cold. Spending and concessions were funded by savings elsewhere in the Budget. As such it will not massively add to nor detract from growth. The company tax cuts have the potential to lift investment and hiring but will not set the economy on fire. Of more benefit will be the RBA rate cut and the weakness on the Australian dollar that has flowed from it. This is not a bad Budget. It will make a modest contribution to growth in parts of the economy but it is by no means bold and progressive. Perhaps that will wait until after the election.

The Budget and interest rates. The RBA trumped the Budget by reducing the cash rate from 2.00% to 1.75% just prior to the Budget. The Budget forecasts modest economic growth in 2016-17 which all but rules out any rate hikes in the next twelve months. It also leaves the door open for a rate cut if growth appears to be falling short of the targets for 2016-17. With the latest rate cut coming on the heels of weak inflation numbers, the outlook for inflation over the next 18 months will be crucial. While a low cash rate seems certain for the next twelve months, there is also likely to be little movement on longer yields. The US appears to be backing away from multiple rate hikes and may do, at most, two small hikes in 2016 if not less. As such there should be little upward pressure on bond yields.

The Budget and the AUD. The AUD tumbled after the RBA’s rate cut and resumed its decline after the Budget was announced. The extended decline was more likely European reaction to the RBA rather than a negative response to the Budget. The direction of the AUD over the next six months will depend upon interest rate differentials and commodity prices. We expect the AUD/USD to sit around $US 0.74 by December 2016, driven by the expectation of slightly higher interest rates in the United States and some retracement in commodity prices.

We expect the RBA will hold fire for the next few months. The Governor’s Statement provided no future guidance. Given its concerns regarding the global and domestic economies and its expectations for inflation, we expect that the RBA will wait to see what emerges from the data.

A further rate cut remains possible but most likely not at the next meeting. By July, the RBA will have seen new data on the labour market, the national accounts and inflation.

Reserve Bank of Australia cuts cash rate

int-rateThe Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday (3/5/2016) cut the cash rate to a record low of 1.75 per cent in a bid to head off falling prices and an economic downturn.

The cut, the first in a year, came less than a week after a shock drop in core inflation to well below the central bank’s 2 per cent to 3 per cent target band.


House price falls in capital cities for first time in three years: Real Estate Institute of Australia

house priceThe median capital city house price has fallen for the first time in three years. Sydney’s median house price fell by 2.5 per cent in the quarter.

The median house price across all capital cities fell, albeit marginally, to $695,788 in the December quarter, dragged down by a decline in the Sydney market.

The 0.4 per cent decline followed 13 consecutive quarters of growth in the weighted average median house price, the Real Estate Institute of Australia said.

REIA president Neville Sanders said strong growth in Hobart, Canberra and Brisbane and marginal increases in Darwin and Perth were unable to offset falling median house prices in Sydney and Melbourne.

“Sydney, the strongest market in the recent years, showed the largest decrease in median prices leaving some commentators speculating whether the city’s housing market has reached its peak,” Mr Sanders said on Thursday.

Australian median house price $695,788 (down 0.4 per cent in December quarter)

– Sydney down 2.5 per cent to $1,025,478

– Melbourne down 0.1 per cent to $718,000

– Hobart up 9.8 per cent to $392,000

– Canberra up 3.7 per cent to $593,000

– Brisbane up 3.2 per cent to $490,000

– Darwin up 0.5 per cent to $608,750

– Perth up 0.4 per cent to $535,000

– Adelaide steady at $430,000

Source: REIA. Weighted average median house price for eight capital cities at December 2015 quarter.